“Enjoying success requires the ability to adapt. Only by being open to change will you have a true opportunity to get the most from your talent.” -Nolan Ryan
When I set out to run 50 miles in 50 states in 62 days, I had a particular nutrition plan in mind. I've always been mindful of what I eat. During the run, I had planned on relying mostly on good, whole foods. Avocados, tomatoes, fruits, and vegetables. It was important for me to try and avoid relying on junk food for fuel.
I stuck to this regimen for the first few days of Run Hope. Before long, I had lost about ten pounds and I felt utterly exhausted. My fueling plan clearly had to be adjusted. Guys like Dave Horton have championed simple sugars as a means of fueling especially long runs. Processed foods, candy, and baked goods are all made out of tasty junk - sprinkles, powdered sugar, sweet doughs - that has little to no nutritional value. But, these foods are dense with calories and are perfect for providing a surge of energy for prolonged physical activity.
When I downed my first doughnut, I felt the difference almost instantly. Like Popeye the Sailor Man, I was rejuvenated, restored, brought back to glorious life! By the time I got to the milkshake, all was just peachy. Soon, word got around that I ate doughnuts. Before long, people - complete strangers - were bringing me boxes and boxes of the sugary confections!
I still relied on whole, healthy foods for fuel, but I had to incorporate the calorie-dense junk food for that extra needed energy. In life, as in running, adaptability is key to progress. Often times, curve balls get thrown our way. Things don't work out as we originally expected. Our circumstances change in frightening and unexpected ways. Rather than throw up our hands in defeat, we have to be able to find creative solutions to the problem. We have to be willing to stray from the beaten path. Eventually, we will find ourselves back on the road towards success.